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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Institute for Global Health
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Global Health Initiative Funding for McGaw Residents

Feinberg's Global Health Initiative (GHI) Fund supports global health education for residents who display an interest in global health and working with underserved populations in resource-limited settings. GHI accomplishes this by supporting the travel expenses of Northwestern medical students and McGaw residents so they may pursue away-rotations and other global public health projects in underserved areas abroad. The GHI Fund is generously supported by Northwestern Medicine Primary and Specialty Care, its patients and Feinberg's donors.

Residents who apply for funding through the Institute for Global Health are required to get approval from McGaw, per the McGaw Medical Center's policy on elective rotations.

 Award Amounts

Awards for McGaw residents are up to $2,000.

Approved funding applications will be accompanied by an award letter that outlines allowable expenses to be reimbursed after travel. All receipts and reimbursement documentation must be submitted to IPHAM within 15 days of the traveler's return to Chicago or the award will be forfeit. Awards may not be paid as stipends through payroll or cover a resident’s time and effort and cannot be paid in advance of travel due to HRSA regulations on salaries for graduate medical trainees. 

Allowable expense categories for reimbursement:

  • Market rate international ticket (coach class)
  • Program fees (i.e., any required fees paid to host-institution)
  • Immunization and travel medicine
  • Visa application fees
  • Housing expenses at destination
  • Per diem (at discretion of the department)

GHI awards will not cover local fares (i.e. taxis, public transportation) or other transportation expenses in the U.S. or abroad, nor will they reimburse for medical supplies, individual meal expenses or unplanned medical expenses. Each award will be made up to a maximum dollar amount to be reimbursed after travel is complete. If additional receipts are submitted with totals that exceed the maximum award amount, the additional expenses will not be reimbursed.

 Eligibility

All McGaw residents are eligible to apply. Approval by the appropriate program director and GME Office is required prior to applying and a minimum of 90 days prior to travel. Good-quality elective rotations in primary care, internal medicine, pediatrics and women's health in underserved communities/resource-limited settings are considered. Rotations and other projects must be a minimum of four weeks in duration and take place in a resource-limited setting with a medically underserved population.

The Global Health Initiative does not support travel expenses for research projects, conference presentations or away-rotations in high-income countries. All rotations must be supervised by a qualified medical professional as determined by the GME Office.

It is the policy of the McGaw Medical Center that housestaff is not eligible to do away-rotations in countries with U.S. State Department Travel Advisory Levels 3 or 4 due to safety concerns. In the case of specific partner institutions located in countries with travel advisories with whom Northwestern University has an established relationship and a signed memorandum of understanding, an appeal to the Feinberg Study Abroad Risk Assessment Committee may be made; however, there is not guarantee this will be granted as appeals will be judged on a case-by-case basis. This committee, jointly run by Feinberg and the Institute for Global Health, considers proposals reviews safety and security issues and assesses the academic merit of the program(s). This committee will make final decisions regarding international rotations for all students, residents and fellows. Independent student proposals in any country with a U.S. State Department Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 will not be considered. Countries with Travel Advisory Level 2 will be considered; however, final approval by the Institute for Global Health and the vice dean of education (for students) or associate dean for graduate medical education (for residents/fellows) is required.

 McGaw Approval

McGaw residents and fellows interested in elective rotations abroad should apply directly to McGaw using the instructions on McGaw's Elective Rotations website.

 Funding Application & Deadline

Residents are required to apply for elective approval at least 90 days prior to travel. Late applications may not be considered.

If the elective rotation is approved by McGaw, applicants should email their approved application to globalhealthinstitute@northwestern.edu with their NetID. They will then be enrolled in the Feinberg Global Health Elective Canvas course. The application for travel funding is available through this course and should be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to travel.

The funding application must be approved prior to commencement of the elective-related travel. Questions regarding the status of funding approval can be sent to sara.caudillo@northwestern.edu. 

 Reimbursement Process

Residents should be prepared to submit the following forms and documentation within two weeks of returning to Chicago to their designated contact in the residency program.

  • Receipts: Award recipients will be expected to submit documentation and receipts for the expense categories listed. Expenses cannot be reimbursed before travel and cannot be reimbursed without proper documentation. Examples of proper documentation include a printed flight itinerary with dates of travel and total cost paid in addition to round-trip boarding passes from the airline. Residents may request a letter from the host institution outlining program fees and submit receipts for housing, immunization and visa expenses. Residents may scan and email copies of receipts for reimbursement.  If you have additional questions, please contact your program coordinator.
  • Visitor’s Expense Report
  • W9 Form (only needs to be submitted if the payee has received a reimbursement from Northwestern University in the past)
  • All receipts and reimbursement documentation must be submitted to IPHAM within 15 days of the traveler's return to Chicago or the award will be forfeit.

Departmental Contacts

Insurance

It is required that residents obtain supplemental travel insurance prior to travel. Northwestern University recommends GeoBlue Insurance to cover unexpected medical expenses and emergency medical services while abroad. 

Drum Cussac provides excellent security advice and services and is the preferred vendor for medical evacuation. It is also recommended to enroll in the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

For  information on malpractice insurance, please refer to the McGaw Request for Elective Rotation Form.

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